Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:52 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 15
Exercise One
My husband has a sexual past before I met him. He had been convicted of indecent exposure in 1999. We met four years later and I was only 20 years old. Now, that would be a deal breaker, but back then I didn't think it was a big deal.

In 2005, after two years of marriage, I found out he had spent a large amount of money on phone sex. This bothered me very badly, and we chose to go to counseling.

Everything seemed fine. He did not have any more sexual outbursts or whatever you want to call it, for some time. At that point no one connected the dots and called it sex addiction, especially me because he has never been weird sexually.

In August 2009, when I was about 8 months pregnant with our fifth child, he started an affair. The affair lasted until February 2011 when I found out about it.

Immediately after the affair ended, while we were trying to work on us, and going to counseling, he started using pornography. His porn of choice was morbidly obese women, which hurts me deeply because his mistress is also morbidly obese. (I am not.) I do not judge this choice, I don't think it's disgusting to be aroused by women of that body type. It just hurts that he chooses someone completely opposite of me. I have a hard time communicating this, because often people think I am being mean or rude about the fact that he prefers very large women. It is NOT because of the way these women look, it is the fact they they are completely opposite of me, the person eh is supposed to love and be attracted to.

This past Monday I discovered that in the last six months, he has joined 7 websites looking for casual sex and has had internet contact with 72 women. He has a completely different alias that he uses as well.

At least three of these women, including the first mistress, have been in my home and in my bed.

He is currently in an intensive outpatient program. Two weeks ago he attempted suicide and was inpatient in a mental hospital for a week. This is the step down program. I am not allowing him to live here right now.

His doctor and case manager had me on a conference call yesterday and want me to parent him. Well, at least that's what it feels like. They want me to take away access to all money - he can't even have a dollar for a soda - and he can have no internet or text access. He cannot even drive himself anywhere.

I don't think I have the strength to do that for him. I live in an isolated area with no one available to care for my children, which is terrible because I need to get some counseling BIG TIME but I just can't find a way to make that work.

I love him so much. I really really do. But I can't forgive right now.

**I wrote this by hand a few days ago, while waiting for my account activation. So I am going to be posting lesson 2 right away, but actually some time has gone by.**

_________________

Happy mom of five beautiful children
Working on my 9 year marriage to a SA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 15
Exercise Two - Vision

I see myself as primarily a mother. I have five beautiful, amazing children who's basic emotional needs HAVE to come first. I choose to put my children's emotional and spiritual needs at the same level as my own - no more parking them in front of tv with a snack while I cry in the bedroom.
My children - and ME - deserve to live a happy life. I choose to be happy in spite of the trauma, and to be the best mother I can be to my kids.

It seems when trauma hits, in whatever form, people either abandon their spirituality or cling to it. I am an abandoner. From now on, I choose to practice practicing - instead of questioning and allowing the ego to overtake me, I will instead take refuge in the Three Jewels - the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
(The Sangha part is difficult for me, as there are no local sanghas available to me. Therefore, I will actively seek out an online sangha to participate in.)

I will make time for myself, to heal, meditate, to take a few moments away from the issues I currently face.

I choose to support my husband's recovery, even if that means we are no longer married. I will support him to the best of my abilities without sacrificing myself or my children's happiness.

I will not allow my husband's sexual issues to define me. I am not "the wife of an adulterer" - I am me, I am whole, and I can live a good life in spite of the trauma.

_________________

Happy mom of five beautiful children
Working on my 9 year marriage to a SA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 15
Exercise Three:
It wasn't until about a year into his affair that I suspected anything. He got angry and withdrawn, never wanted to go to work. (His mistress was at work.) I remember talking to him and asking if he was having an affair, he said no. (of course.)
I remember telling my support people that there was now ay he was having an affair, he was always with me. But my gut knew something was up.

Fast forward To christmas time, 2010. Two months before I found out. I heard from a friend, whose husband works with my husband, that N had been trashing me constantly. Like, every opportunity he got, he talked bad about me. Terrible things, like I was a bad mom, bad wife. He said he hated my hair style even! WTH??
Something told me this was not right but I ignored it. I mean I felt awful but I ignored my feelings.

Feb 2011 - learned of his affair.
He immediately started spending lots of time on teh computer late at night. I would get up and ask what he was doing and he said Facebook or games. He always had that window open so I believed it. But really in my heart I didn't. It seemed too weird.

In January 2012 I had this awful hunch that he was lying. Nothing concrete to make me feel that way. I started digging and found another mistress.

The most recent discovery (March 2012) I found out by complete accident.

Things that will trigger my gut instinct:

Withdrawn, angry behaviors
Spending time on the computer
Spending time on the phone and/or text messaging
Staying up late at night
Taking too long when he goes to the store
Any time he goes away at night
Being overly attentive to me - when he's guilty of something, he "makes up" for it by lavishing me with little gifts, etc.


Honestly I am still stuck in a place where everything he says or does is suspect. I need to work on that because its extending into other healthy relationships.

_________________

Happy mom of five beautiful children
Working on my 9 year marriage to a SA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 15
Exercise Five
My answers in blue

A. How do you manage your stress? What would it take for you to become so emotionally overwhelmed that you would turn to irrational behavior to produce enough intensity to escape from that stress? Can you think of a time in your life that you have turned to such a measure?

I try to manage stress is healthy ways - artistic expression, going for a walk (I live on wooded acreage), even losing myself in solitaire on the computer. I can only remember a few times when I have been so emotionally destroyed that I turned to unhealthy coping mechanisms - after I lost my second baby halfway through pregnancy, I turned to food and gained nearly fifty pounds. Also, the night I first learned of my H's affair, I drank nearly a fifth of vodka, and I am not a drinker AT ALL.


B. Consider a compulsive behavior that you have engaged in. Break it down thoroughly. Get a sense for the anxiety that you experienced prior to engaging in the act. Imagine the continued anxiety that you would have experienced had you not engaged in the act. Describe that anxiety in your own words.
I am a compulsive nail biter. I have been biting my nails till they bleed since I was around 3 years old. Ironically (or not) this started when my parents divorced. I can recall several times when I tried to stop biting my nails and it produced severe anxiety. It drove me crazy and I would look at my nails hundreds of times throughout the day. Mostly what I remember is a sense of urgency, a knotting up inside that would not go away. Nothing could take the focus off nail biting and it consumed my entire life. A few days later I gave in and bit my nails and it was the most amazing sense of relief, like a drug. The sense of relief overpowered my feelings of failure for not being able to stick to it.

I don't know if this is what my H goes through, but if it is, I feel terrible for him. It must be an awful feeling to have all the time. I wish I knew of a way to help him myself, because that torment was awful and if this is what he been living every day for most of his adult life, that makes me feel so sad.


C. In contemplating the role that addiction has played in your partner's life, imagine what his/her life would be like without this life management skill in place. To be clear, the task here is not to imagine his life without the consequences of the addiction, but to imagine how he would manage his emotions without having the compulsive act to engage in. How would he stimulate himself emotionally? What would he use to regulate his stress? Not how should he, mind you, but how would he?

Currently, I think my H would turn to alcohol or gambling. I remember times when he was in situations that were stressful but not private. He drank alcohol but would not admit it to me even though I asked him. I KNEW he had been drinking, but he refused to admit it. This hurt me because he was supposed to be in mental health treatment at the time and I was upset that he would sabotage the help he was trying to get by drinking every day after therapy.

Gambling is less of an issue, but still could easily escalate for him. I have found many small charges for the casino - $20 here, $50 there. He has never gambled to a point where it caused financial difficulty, but I think without SA or alcohol, this is something that could blow up into a big problem.

It seems like his issue is understanding the difference between healthy recreation and addiction. Healthy sex vs. SA, the occasional beer with friends vs. self medicating, one night at the casino vs every day. I have noticed he also has difficulty with boundaries and friendships. He has destroyed all of his friendships due to overstepping boundaries. Especially with females, but also with male friends, because he expects far too much and gives little to nothing to the relationship. (With females, he crosses the line from friends to lovers within days of meeting someone.)


_________________

Happy mom of five beautiful children
Working on my 9 year marriage to a SA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 15
Exercise Six

First - I read the book and part of m said "creepy" but the main emotion I felt was overwhelming sadness. What a terrible place to be. I am glad that Jon got the help he needed and it gives me a glimmer of hope for my H.

Quite often, many sexual behaviors occur with such subtlety, such consistency and/or are so well disguised (through humor, anger, guilt, etc.) that it is not until you filter these behaviors through a net of sexual addiction when you realize that they are indeed woven from the same cloth. But the reality is, the majority of sexual addicts have positioned themselves within a cocoon of sexuality that is not related to their personality, but rather, their addiction. With this in mind, think of your partner's behavior over the course of your relationship. Describe the patterns that you suspect can be attributed to a sexualized mind.

My H has always called me his property. He looks at me with "that look" and then laughs and says "Just checking out my inventory." It always made me uncomfortable. Many times over the course of our marriage he wanted me to dress provocatively and take me in public, he enjoyed having other men look at me. His humor is not of a sexual nature, but as I'm doing this exercise I realize that almost all of his affection towards me is sexual. I'm not sure if that's normal but I suspect that it's not. He thinks that I think the way he does and generally wants to express his love in sexual ways, thinking that I would like that. What he doesn't realize despite me telling him, is that I could go the rest of my life without ever having sex again, if it meant that I was loved genuinely and respectfully.

Of the four areas discussed in this lesson, which have you observed in your partner?

I think he falls somewhere within the Objectified Mind and the Need for Immediate Gratification.
This applies to him in terms of SA as well as in other areas of his life. When he wants something - sex, release, money, new skates, anything - he wants it NOW and will go to great lengths to get it, even if that means borrowing money from five different people, or putting our kids in front of tv so he can go in the bedroom and MB or have a quickie with me.

I definitely think he objectifies people, because of a few different things. First, he uses people. He craves relationships and destroys them quickly due to his usury. His mistress was nothing but a willing vagina to him. His friends are sounding boards but he never takes advice, just complains to them until he drives them away. His female friends are sounding boards and then become nothing but sex. Only when I have brought this up to him, has he looked at his behavior as objectifying.

Example: I asked him how he thinks his mistress felt. She was in love with him, and he would treat her badly. Nearly three years after the affair began, and a year after it ended, he is just now realizing how badly he used her. He still doesn't feel too bad because he is so early in recovery. A big part of him still blames her for the affair (and to be honest, I do too .... but it was definitely 50/50. She offered, he didn't refuse. It's not entirely her fault, despite what he thinks right now.)

Also, as I stated above, he refers to me as property, inventory, or will call me names based on physical attributes he likes - Hot Ass, etc.

You know, I don't think he knows anything about me at all.

_________________

Happy mom of five beautiful children
Working on my 9 year marriage to a SA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 15
I am not quite ready to do Exercise Seven - that was a big lesson, eye opening and liberating, but a lot to take in. I have re-read the information twice and honestly, it's been the most helpful lesson so far. I want to do the exercise when I have a good opportunity for quiet and alone time (not easy to come by with my three youngest kids, they are all under 4 years old.)

So today I am doing a bit of a journal entry.

H has moved back home. He has only one family member here, the rest are about 300 miles away. This family member was upset with him, because he would come to our home now and then to visit with the kids. She says he shouldn't be spending any time with me or the kids at all. She said he had to make a choice and he chose us.

His family honestly and truly at their core believes that *I* am the cause of all H's issues. Part of his SA is extremely low self esteem, and to make himself feel better, he has spent our entire marriage telling them terrible things about me. He never once built me up to his family or friends- instead, he tore me down at every opportunity he got, to garner sympathy and make himself look good. ("Look what I put up with, I must be an amazing person.")

So naturally, his family sees what's going on, sees my anger and assumes I'm always angry and upset, because he told them that! And now he can't understand why it bothers me.

I have asked him to write a letter or talk to his family about what he was doing and he gets defensive and refuses.

Sometimes I hate this man so deeply it scares me.

_________________

Happy mom of five beautiful children
Working on my 9 year marriage to a SA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 15
I am taking a brief hiatus from lessons right now.

Had another DDay at our house yesterday.

I am very deeply seriously considering leaving him.

I found on his phone a woman he has been with since November, he told her he loved her, they met at hotels, he would text her randomly and say "Hey Gorgeous!"

DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG IT HAS BEEN SINCE ANYONE CALLED ME GORGEOUS?

I WOULD PAY CASH MONEY TO HAVE SOMEONE CALL ME GORGEOUS!

H says he does think I'm beautiful. But I haven't heard that from him in literally years. This shouldn't bother me, looks aren't everything right? But it does, it bothers me so much. I just want to be pretty and loved and I can't have either of those things.

I am ugly and broken - no man would ever want me. Ever. Even if I was pretty and healthy, I have five kids. No man is going to take that on.

I am just sick of being alone and disgusting and hidden away and used.

_________________

Happy mom of five beautiful children
Working on my 9 year marriage to a SA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 15
Exercise Two Revisited

I realize that in my first Vision, I chose to focus on my children. This is a wonderful thing, but I have spent my entire life focusing on other people. I am going to stick with my first Vision, but I am going to have this one as well.

Vision Redeux

I am a woman. I am beautiful on the inside and out. If the people close to me don't recognize my value, it does not mean I am without value; it simply means that they are blind.

In a marriage, I need the following:
-Honesty
-Loyalty
-Quality time spent together (even just cuddling on the couch)
-Attention and Affection
-To be a priority
-The occasional compliment
-To be emotionally connected to my partner
-My partner to be emotionally connected to me

These things are not happening in my marriage. BUT, I am asking myself - do I do these things for ME? Very few of these things actually require a second person. I can be loyal and honest to myself. I can give myself compliments, make myself a priority, give myself the attention that I deserve. And that is not only okay, but a necessary part of healthy self esteem.

I would like to get to a place where it does not matter what my H does when I'm not around, it does not matter what he says to other women. I cannot control him, and his choices show me that he IS capable of being a good man, just not with ME.

And that HAS to be okay because I can't change him. The fact that he chooses other women and SA over me IS NOT MY FAULT. IT IS NOT A REFLECTION OF ME. I am still the beautiful, smart, funny woman that I was before SA crept into my life. Nothing has changed. I have been hurt and experienced loss, but that only adds to who I am - it does not take away from what was already there.

My faults do not make me less of a person. My faults are an integral part of me, just like my sense of humor, my eye color, my hopes and dreams. And if I take a good long honest look at myself, those faults really aren't so bad. I bite my nails, so what? I have small boobs, so what? I am wildly disorganized, so what? None of these faults are terrible things to have. IT IS OKAY TO FALLIBLE AND IMPERFECT.

I know this is a bit long and probably not what the authors of the RN workshop had in mind. But I feel strongly about what I have written. I am going to take excerpts of what I just wrote, print them out, and tape them around my house for me to see every day. I AM A GOOD PERSON and my H's SA does not reflect on me!

_________________

Happy mom of five beautiful children
Working on my 9 year marriage to a SA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:26 am
Posts: 15
I checked myself into an outpatient program. I'm glad I did because there are doctors there to help with my own mental health issues. I go from 9am to 3pm and we are working on things like self esteem, boundaries, personal values, etc.

The doctor put me on medication. I have ADD with possible bipolar. I am on a new medication that seems to help me stay calm. The "mania" I experience is not happy and high, it's irritable and angry. I am not sure the bipolar part is correct but honestly I don't care what they call it, so long as I can get healthy.

I do plan to continue this workshop step by step, but probably not too gung-ho because the outpatient program is a lot to take in all at once.

_________________

Happy mom of five beautiful children
Working on my 9 year marriage to a SA


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group